The Advanced Manufacturing Schools Outreach Program is encouraging kids in secondary schools across New South Wales to explore a meaningful career in the trades. With a skills deficient crisis impacting a raft of labour markets across Australia, industry is calling for the Program to be rolled out nationally. The Program was demonstrated at a media event on Tuesday 28 March 2023 at Dapto High School.
As a result, a range of media coverage was secured, including;
- Channel Nine News
- ABC Radio Interview on Tuesday 28 March at 7.15am
- High tech trades class, published by the Illawarra Mercury
- NSW Schools Outreach Program Encourages Trade Careers, published by Manufacturers Monthly
- ABC NewsRadio, live on-air interview on Tuesday 9 March at 10.45am (recording unavailable)
- 3AW Radio Melbourne, live on-air interview on Tuesday 9 March at 5.15pm (recording unavailable)
According to Geoff Crittenden (CEO, Weld Australia), “There is no magic solution to Australia’s skills crisis. We need a radical approach. The same old approach that we’ve taken for years will not arm Australia with the skilled workers needed to deliver the record number of projects we’re seeing in industries like defence and renewables, let alone the $237 billion pipeline of government infrastructure.”
“A veritable army of skilled workers, including welders, will be required to build and install the infrastructure needed to achieve the Federal Government’s 43% emissions reductions target by 2030 and net zero by 2050. Unless action is taken now, Australia will be at least 70,000 welders short by 2030. And welding is just one trade: similar skills deficient can be found in just about every trade across the nation.”
“Industry is calling out for kids with a practical bent to go into the trades. We need parents to understand that a career as a tradesperson is full of potential and a whole raft of exciting opportunities. The Advanced Manufacturing Schools Outreach Program in New South Wales is helping to do exactly this. It is helping to reverse the mindset that the only path for kids post-high school is university,” said Crittenden.
“Our STEM Program is unique because it actually engages kids. It is hands-on, fun and educational. It is not just about studying more maths and physics textbooks. The Program uses Seaberry’s Soldamatic augmented reality welding simulators to gamify the learning experience. Anyone can try their hand at the welding simulators and be a star. A lot of these kids have never passed a test in their lives—the light in the kids’ eyes when the simulators gives them the all-clear is really something to see.”
“The gamification of learning is particularly effective when trying to encourage females, Indigenous Australians, people living with disabilities and those from a disadvantaged background into a career in STEM. Training in schools must be refocused to showcase the opportunities in trades and encourage women and other underrepresented groups into careers in STEM.”
Weld Australia has been working with the New South Wales Department of Education on the Advanced Manufacturing School Outreach Program to create a practical solution to the skills crisis in Australia.
The Advanced Manufacturing School Outreach Program relies upon the use of augmented reality welding simulators to give kids a real welding experience. To date, 82 welding simulators are installed at 40 high schools across New South Wales. These simulators are used to teach students in Year 9 to develop an understanding of welding across all common processes in a completely safe and controlled environment. The technology is also being utilised by students in years 10-12 to support the delivery of Manufacturing and Engineering and Industrial Technology (Metal), as part of MEM20413 Certificate II in Engineering Pathways.
Augmented reality simulators offer a raft of benefits for training. There are no safety issues, its gamified approach excites and challenges students, it appeals to both sexes helping encourage women into traditionally male-dominated career paths, and offers substantial cost benefits over traditional teaching techniques.